Finger and hand play There- Tip (21)

18 Finger and hand play There -Tip w21_files

Last updated: 5/15/2023 9:48 AM

There was a hungry hunter

There was a little bunny

There’s a robin’s nest I know

There’s such a tiny little mouse

Thumb fun

This is big, big, big

This is a turtle

This little bear has a warm fur suit

This little mountain

This little tiger is very wild

This pretty planet

Three little owlets

Three blue pigeons

Tiny little bird

Tiptoeing in the dark


These songs are nursery rhymes and other traditional songs compiled,

illustrated and music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

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To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:


© Dany Rosevear 2013 All rights reserved

You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

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There was a hungry hunter 🔊



This humorous and alliterative hand play is from ‘Acting rhymes’ by Clive Sansom published in the 1960s where it is suggested that a bear speaks line 5 and 6. The author is unknown. Dany Rosevear added the tune and the handplay below.


1-4. Rub tummy, put circled thumb and forefingers to eyes. Hold up fore finger and middle to make ears. 5-6. Rub tummy and look fierce. 7-8. Roll arms over each other and make two fingers run.



























There was a hungry hunter

Went hunting for a hare,

But where he hoped the hare would be

He found a hairy bear!


“I’m very very hungry:

I get hungry now and then.”


The hunter turned head-over-heels

And hurried home again.



There was a little bunny 🔊



A hand play or an action song; it would be lovely to play this out in the woods


1-2. Make rarabbit with fist and first and second finger up. Other hand makes tree. Wiggle fingers. 3-4. Make squirrel head by pointing fingers of the other hand forward and tree as before. Rabbit hand jumps past each time. 5-6. Open and close fingers of second hand for duck. Point to self. 7-8. As before. 2nd verse Rabbit hand stops in front of squirrel and dack and peeps round tree. Wink and point to self.
































There was a little bunny who lived in a wood.

He wiggled his ears like a good bunny should.

He hopped past a squirrel, he hopped past a tree,

He hopped past a duck and he hopped past me.

There was a little bunny who lived in a wood.

He wiggled his ears like a good bunny should.

He stared at the squirrel, he peeked round the tree,

He stared at the duck, but he winked at me!



There’s a robin’s nest I know 🔊



A gentle hand play and keeping secrets.

Would you tell anyone if you found a nest with eggs in it? A bird’s nest needs to be left alone so the baby birds can hatch in peace, safety and away from predators. In May a mother blackbird deliberately walked slowly across my path, I reckon she was trying to distract me from finding her nest nearby.

From a collection of rhymes for BBC Radio Oxford “Sing a song of sixpence” published in the Spring Term 1974. Adapted by Dany Rosevear who also wrote the tune.


1. Make a nest with one hand nestled in the other. 2. Cover nest with one hand. 3. Hold hands to chest. 4. Shake finger. 5. Hide as before. 6. Point to self.




































There's a robin's nest I know,

Hiding in the grassy bank below,

Speckled eggs so warm and safe,

No one knows that secret place.

Hiding in the bank below,

Except me!





There’s such a tiny little mouse 🔊



A hand play from the wonderful collection ‘This little puffin’ published in 1969.


1. Show how small the mouse is with thumb and forefinger. 2. Place forefinger into clenched fist. 3. Creep fingers across floor. 4. Put hands to cheek and close eyes. 5. Spread hands outwards to show sunrise. 6. Creep fingers back and rest on the other hand.





























There's such a tiny little mouse,

Living safely in my house.

Out at night he'll softly creep,

When everyone is fast asleep:

But always in the light of day

He'll softly, softly creep away.




This is a turtle 🔊



A simple reptilian hand play recorded in hope that the places where turtles live have not dried up in this year’s heatwaves. ‘This Summer’s drought has made their existence even more tenuous. Turtle populations are being forced to search for the few remaining wet habitats and food sources in their area , placing them at greater risk of injury or predation. Many are crossing roads in search of water.’ Drought tough on turtles, too – Nashoba Valley Voice

Tune by Dany Rosevear.


1. Form a fist and extend thumb. 2. Place the other hand over the fist. 3. Nod head. 4. Thumb pops out and circles around. 6. Place thumb back in fist. Put hands to cheek.




























This is a turtle, it lives in a shell;

It likes its home, so very, very well.

It pokes its head out when it wants to eat,

And pulls it back in when it needs to sleep.




This is big, big, big 🔊



A song of opposites from Mel’s desk.

Tune added by Dany Rosevear.


1. Stretch out arms. 2. Draw fingers close together. 3. Place hand downwards. 4. Stretch hands and arms up. 5. Roll arms around each other quickly. 6. The same slowly. 7. Nod head. 8. Shake head and finger.





























This is big, big, big,

This is small, small, small,

This is short, short, short

This is tall, tall, tall,

This is fast, fast, fast,

This is slow, slow, slow,

This is yes, yes, yes,

This is no, no, no!



This little bear has a warm fur suit 🔊



Each bear is different, just like children. How many bears?

Tune by Dany Rosevear.


Start with the thumb put up each finger in sequence. 1.Rub arms. 2. Put hands to face.

3. With hands on hips frown. 4. Shake first finger. 5. Throw out hands.





























This little bear has a warm fur suit,

This little bear is very, very cute,

This little bear is bold and cross,

This little bear says, “You're not the boss!”

This little bear likes toast and honey,

But he can't buy either for he has no money!



This little mountain



This hand play is from John M. Feierabend’s collection ‘Wiggles and tickles’ published 1999. It can be played with baby wiggling fingers and drawing sun on palm or tummy, dotting rain with fingers and so on; or as below with older children.


Line 1. Touch thumb and make circle with thumbs and forefinger. 2. Touch forefinger and make rain fall with fingers. 3 .and 4. Touch middle finger then shade eyes and peer. 5. Touch ring finger then put hands to cheek. 6. Make a pointed cap above head. 7. And 8. Point to little finger and shape tree with palms together.


This little mountain finds the sun,

This little mountain drinks the rain,

This little mountain shades its eyes

And looks across the plain.

This little mountain is ready for bed

With a white cap on top of its head;

And this little mountain is up to its knees,

In so many wonderful Christmas trees!















This little tiger is very wild 🔊



Not too scary!

Tune by Dany Rosevear.


Start with the thumb and touch each finger in sequence. 1.Growl like a tiger.

2. Kiss second finger. 3. Draw stripes on middle finger. 4. Bend finger down.

5. Wiggle finger, circle round the palm of the other and sniff. Bite left hand with right.






























This little tiger is very wild,

This little tiger is a loving child.

This little tiger has big black stripes,

This little tiger is tucked up for the night.

This little tiger likes to prowl and smell,

But his teeth are too small to bite quite well.



This pretty planet 🔊



This wonderful song by Tom Chapin is more usually sung as a round. It is also sung as a lullaby.

This amazing song went round the entire world when it was one of the songs used to wake up the astronauts, including John Glen, on the Discovery 7 space shuttle!


1.Make a ball with hands, roll forearms round each other. 2. Make flower round face, arms make waves, hands together as in prayer. 3. Lift arms up and outwards, as in first line. 4. Hands to cheek, hold arms, Lift arms up and outwards.































This pretty planet, spinning through space,

Your garden, your harbour, your holy place.

Golden sun going down,

Gentle blue giant spin us around.

All through the night,

Safe ‘til the morning light.



Three little owlets 🔊



From ‘A Child's Own Book of Verse’ by Ada Skinner.

Music by Dany Rosevear.


1. Raise three fingers then fingers to eyes, cuddle self put fingers together.

2. Make moon with thumb and forfingers, spread dew. Flap crossed hands.

3. Use thumb and forefinger to make beak, repeat 1.

4. Raise two forefingers to mouth to make curved beak.












































Three little owlets

In a hollow tree,

Cuddled up together

Close as could be.


When the moon came out

And the dew lay wet,

Mother flew about

To see what she could get.


She caught a little mouse,

So velvety and soft,

She caught a little sparrow,

And then she flew aloft


To the three little owlets

In a hollow tree,

Cuddled up together

Close as could be.


"Tu-whoo!" said the old owl,

"Isn't this good cheer!"

"Tu-whit!" said the owlets,

"Thank you, mother dear!"


“Tu-whit, tu-whit, tu-whit,


“Tu-whit, tu-whit, tu-whit,





Three blue pigeons 🔊



Simple addition and subtraction. An American scouting/ folk song that can happily be played as a hand play. Sad and glad feelings.


Put up three, two, one fingers up each time then reverse; rest on hand / arm tree. Cross hands at wrist and flap each time bird flies away or returns.





























Three blue pigeons, three blue pigeons,

Three blue pigeons sitting on a tree.

Oh dear! One flew away!


Two blue pigeons, two blue pigeons, etc.

Oh dear! Another flew away!


One blue pigeon, one blue pigeon, etc.

Oh-no! The last one flew away!



No blue pigeons, no blue pigeons, etc.

Hooray! One flew back!

Whee-ee! (joyfully)

One blue pigeon, one blue pigeon, etc.

Hooray! Another flew back!


Two blue pigeons, two blue pigeons, etc.

Hooray! The third flew back!



Three blue pigeons, three blue pigeons,

Three blue pigeons sitting on a tree!



Thumb fun



A thumb play. Learn to appreciate that first important digit.

Immobilize your thumb with tape and see how very difficult most tasks can be.

Each verse can be used as standalones or in sequence depending on the age and ability of the group.

A hand play by Dany Rosevear.

Most of these movements are self explanatory.



One thumb, two thumbs,

What can they do thumbs?

They can touch each finger,

Hello, hello, hello, hello,

Well done, Tommy Thumb!


Up thumb, down thumb,

Stir it all around thumb.

Left thumb, right thumb

Any way you like, thumb,

Out thumb, in thumb,

All tucked up in bed thumb.


Pull up a zip thumb,

Push in a pin thumb,

Pick up a penny thumb,

Put it in a plum pie thumb.

Trouble comes, twiddle thumbs,

Strum a guitar thumb,

Make window wiper thumbs,

Tommy Thumb says, “Fun, fun, fun!”



Tiny little bird O



A Turkish song for winter, ‘Mini Mini Bir Kus’, melody and words by Saip Eguz.


Move thumb and forefinger like beak. Perch bird on other hand. Cup hands. Cover hand and open and close beak. Cross hands to make wings, flap and move upwards and away. Throw out hands and look sad.


























Tiny, little bird was frozen stiff,

Sitting on my window sill.

Gently did I cradle him,

To make him warm and hear him sing.

Suddenly he flapped his little wings,

Off he flew in the wind and snow.

Mini Mini Bir Kus Donmustu

Pencereme konmustu

Aldim onu iceriye

Cik cik cik cik otsun diye

Pir pir ederken canlandi

Ellerim bak bos kaldi…




Tiptoeing in the dark  🔊



This spooky hand play would work well at Halloween!

It could also be played as an action rhyme; pairs of children holding hands creep in and out of each other, when the candle is blown out they huddle together for reassurance.


The words came from a collection of nursery rhymes.

Music and game by Dany Rosevear.


Point up, point down, place finger to mouth – Shhh! Fingers creep forward, finger moves round, make a roof shape. Fingers creep forward and about. Move hands like the wind and shake head, put finger up like a candle, blow out flame – Phwooh!

































Upstairs, downstairs, quiet as a mouse; Shhhh!

Tiptoe, tiptoe, all around the house.

Tiptoe, tiptoe, creep and creep about;

I hope the wind won't come along and blow my candle out! Phwooh!


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